Patriots

Tom Brady offers thoughts on Carli Lloyd kicking in NFL

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Tom Brady offers thoughts on Carli Lloyd kicking in NFL

Carli Lloyd's 55-yard field goal at Philadelphia Eagles camp last month didn't just make waves on the social media. It garnered serious attention from front offices around the NFL.

Several organizations reportedly offered to have the U.S. women's soccer legend become a part of their roster and kick in a preseason game. Lloyd expressed interest in the potential opportunity, which has sparked some debate about whether a team should go through with signing the 37-year-old.

Mark Tom Brady down as one of Lloyd's supporters. The Patriots quarterback said Tuesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" he believes Lloyd should be given a chance if general managers believe she'll give their team a chance to win games.

"I think if you're good enough to do it and teams wanted to explore that then everyone should have an opportunity," Brady said. "It's a very highly competitive game and it's hard to find good players. It's hard to find good quarterbacks. It's hard to find good coaches. It's hard to find good linebackers. It's certainly hard to find good kickers.

"It's kind of, in a lot of ways, survival of the fittest. It goes back to a very archaic way, but football is a very difficult sport and because there's a limited roster size you do give everyone a chance to make the team. It's a challenging camp, challenging offseason and then the coach decides, or the owner decides, or the general manager decides who makes it and who doesn't. Everyone is trying to win games. The NFL is a very competitive landscape. I believe that the owners try to put the best people on the field in order to give their teams the best chance to win."

That's the kind of answer one should expect from a six-time Super Bowl champion entering his 20th NFL season. As long as it helps the team, what's the issue?

Lloyd has made it clear she won't be blazing any trails at least until she retires from the other football, so the front offices interested in her services will have to wait a while. The two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion has the 2020 Summer Olympics to focus on before she makes any new commitments.

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Patriots Week 11 injury report: Julian Edelman not listed for first time since Week 3

Patriots Week 11 injury report: Julian Edelman not listed for first time since Week 3

FOXBORO -- The bye week did the Patriots some good, it seems.

On the health front, the Patriots are looking better than they've looked in some time. When injury reports for New England and Philadelphia were released Wednesday ahead of their Week 11 game, the list for Bill Belichick's club was relatively short.

Absent from the injury report were Julian Edelman (who's dealt with a chest injury for most of the season), Tom Brady (who was on the injury report with a shoulder issue back in Week 9), Shaq Mason (who has dealt with an ankle injury), Rex Burkhead (limited by a foot injury two weeks ago) and Gunner Olszewski (who's had ankle and hamstring injuries of late).

The Patriots had only four players on the injury report Wednesday: Patrick Chung (heel/chest), Danny Shelton (ankle) and Matt LaCosse (knee) were all limited in practice; Nate Ebner (ankle/back) did not participate.

The fact that Edelman is healthy enough to be a full participant is key, of course. Outside of Brady, he may be the most vital cog in the offensive machine here. And because his job asks him to operate in the middle of the field, he's prone not only to getting injured, but to aggravating injuries that don't have a chance to heal. The last time Edelman was off the injury report was Week 3.

The Week 10 bye gave him and others a chance to recover, and they'll face this weekend's challenge a little bit healthier than they were a few weeks ago.

Eagles coach has unique perspective on '19 Patriots D vs. '00 Ravens>>>

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Doug Pederson has unique perspective on '19 Patriots D vs. '00 Ravens

Doug Pederson has unique perspective on '19 Patriots D vs. '00 Ravens

FOXBORO – We’ve noted several times the historic pace for stinginess the Patriots defense is on through nine games.

Even with the Ravens putting up 30 on them in their last game, the New England defense has still allowed just 70 points. The NFL record of 152 was set by the 2000 Ravens.

The “Who’s the Greatest Defense of All Time” conversation is a subjective one. Opponents, rules changes, the evolution of the game in terms of scheme and technology – not to mention the evolution of the athletes – makes it impossible to declare a “winner.”

About the only objective evidence that can be submitted is how many points a particular team’s defense allowed. And the Patriots are tracking history in that regard.

There is, however, one intimate eyewitness to the 2000 Ravens who can also speak with expertise about the 2019 Patriots. That’s Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

Back in 2000 when he was a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, Pederson got the start on November 26 against the Ravens.

The Browns lost, 44-7. Pederson went 8-for-16 for 108 yards with two sacks and an interception. And?

“I think I cracked my ribs in that game,” Pederson added Wednesday afternoon on a conference call ahead of Sunday’s matchup with New England.

I asked Pederson what else he remembers about that team and how it compares to this one.

“It’s an interesting conversation, and you can obviously draw some parallels with those two defenses,” he began. “I think the biggest thing that jumps out to you right now, the glaring thing, is the turnover ratio.

“I mean, the fact that they’ve got six defensive scores this season, the interceptions, the fumbles they’re causing – it’s a brand of defense where they just smother you. They just corral you,” said Pederson. “They’re OK with giving you two, three, four yards, but they’re right on top of you. Their secondary is that way aggressively and their front seven are that way.

“And that’s something I think when you look back, if I remember correctly with that Baltimore team, the same structure, the same style of defense,” he added. “It was a smothering style of defense, and they played fast and they played aggressively. They may not do a whole lot schematically, and I think that’s a positive because it does allow your guys to play free, and to play fast and to play smart. I think that’s a similarity that I see with this Patriots defense today.”

So far, the Patriots have recovered eight opponent fumbles and picked off 19 passes. They’ve also returned four turnovers for touchdowns (not to mention the two blocked punt touchdowns).

The Ravens recovered 26 opponent’s fumbles and picked off 23 passes (26 fumbles on 44 forced fumbles … insanity….).

Because of the bye week, the Patriots' loss to Baltimore has festered. Skepticism that the Patriots' gaudy numbers are more about their opponents' ineptitude than New England’s excellence has gained traction.

Did Pederson see anything from that Ravens game that he can sample?

“The Ravens offense is unique because of their quarterback,” Pederson pointed out. “I’ll just throw that out there – this kid [Lamar Jackson] is special and he’s hard to bring down. So, they can do some things that probably every other team in the league can’t. But, I think you can look at the structure of things, and what Baltimore did and the success that Baltimore had in that game. I think you can kind of match that to what we do, or what we try to do.

“But you’ve got to look at the entire body of work,” Pederson cautioned. “You can’t just focus on one game because there’s so many things. I mean, the Patriots defense changes from week-to-week based on who they play, so we would anticipate maybe a little different structure than what they played against Baltimore. So, we look at it. You’ve got to look at it with a wide lens, obviously, and try to pick a few things that might help you win.”

They go about it a whole lot differently than the Ravens, but the Eagles can run it. They’ve been over 4 yards per carry in every game but two this season and ran for 364 in their last two contests against pretty stout defenses – Chicago and Buffalo.

So this is a legitimate test for the Patriots who, at this point, are a helluva lot less concerned about history than they are the here and now.

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